Dodge the Deer 5K

I think I mentioned before that I wanted 2014 to be the year of new races. Meaning, I wanted to run local races that I have never run before!

So far these have been:

The Runnin’ of the Green

Parker School Trail 5K

and now the Dodge the Deer 5K

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And one of the main reasons I ran the last two 5Ks was to ramp up my trail running because of the trail half I have is in TWO WEEKS.

Anyway, Dodge the Deer was held at Schodack Island State Park, a place I’ve actually never been despite it being pretty close. It was only about a 30 minute drive from Albany. The park has lots of wide, flat trails, perfect for running!
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So I had no idea how these trails were going to be going into this race, so my goal was just to run faster than I did at the Parker School 5K (37 minutes).

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Dodge the Deer was pretty small, with 337 people running.

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Off we went through the woods.

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I had a pretty slow first mile, but surprised myself when I passed a bunch of people the remainder of the race. I finished in 30:10! Its funny how fast 5Ks seem to go now…once I get warmed up, the race is over.

Mile 1 – 10:13

Mile 2 – 9:37

Mile 3 – 9:30

Dodge the Deer was a really fun local race. It would be a great first train race for anyone wanting to start trail running! My first trail race ever was the Squirrelly Six Mile in 2010 at Thacher. Not an easy one, that’s for sure!

Hiking Giant Ledge and Panther Mountain – Catskills

Finally, a weekend spent (almost) entirely outside!! I have been waiting for this. To keep up with goal of hiking one mountain per month, yesterday I went hiking with Chris and our friends Meredith and John. It was a PERFECT day. Yesterday’s high was 80 degrees.

There is still a ton of snow in the Adirondacks, so we decided to try another hike in the Catskills. Giant Ledge and Panther Mountain not far from Slide where we hiked the last time.

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Most of the snow was completely gone, but when we got to higher elevations there was about a foot in some spots. We decided to leave our snowshoes behind because we just couldn’t fathom bringing them when the temp was in the 70s. That would have been strange. But we did bring our microspikes and they came in handy on some of the more icy spots.

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We first hit Giant Ledge, which had some really nice views.

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A little further up, we got to some more great views atop Panther Mountain.

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Some hiking selfies. Ha.

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We finished the hike in about 5.5 hours.

Giant Ledge & Panther Mountain

Distance: 6.87  RT
Elevation Gain: 1,556′
Peak Elevation: 3,725′
Catskill Highest: 17

After the hike we stopped in Athens to get some food at Crossroads Brewery!

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I got the delicious veggie burger, topped with goat cheese!

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And a brownie for dessert.

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A great ending to a perfect day!

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A Marathon in 2014

Ever since I ran my second marathon, the Vermont City Marathon last year, I’ve been thinking about which race will be my next marathon. Originally I had hoped to run the Rock n Roll Seattle Marathon, but those plans fell through, unfortunately.

A few weeks ago, I got to see my friend Meg. She and I had run the Diva’s half marathon back in 2011. She had been wanting to run a full marathon for a while, and told me she wanted to run the 2014 Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC. Well, that had me sold. As one of the largest marathons in country, the MCM is on my “race wishlist”, so we both entered the lottery for the race. We waited patiently on lottery day and Meg found out that she got in! Unfortunately I didn’t get in on the lottery (bummer) but decided to raise money for a charity to run the race!

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I’m running with Team Azalea Charities!  From their website:

Azalea Charities, Inc. is a non-profit organization that raises funds to support a dual mission. Internationally, we focus on Aid for Wounded Warriors. We also support youth and special needs projects in our local Northern Virginia area. We publicize our efforts with these charities so people know that 100% of their donations go to causes that make a difference in the lives of those in need.

Our efforts in behalf of Aid for Wounded Warriors provide comfort and relief items for soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines sick, injured or wounded from service in Iraq and Afghanistan. We purchase specific items requested by Military Medical Centers, VA Medical Centers and Fisher House rehabilitation facilities each week. We also provide financial support to CrisisLink, a Hotline for wounded soldiers and their families, and Hope for the Warriors, special projects for wounded soldiers.  Many of the servicemen and women are grievously wounded and will require long hospitalization and rehabilitation. The purpose of our mission is to lift their spirits and enhance their morale as well as affect a lifetime support program.

In the Northern Virginia area, there are many worthwhile charities to support. Azalea Charities has identified Boys & Girls Clubs, Special Olympics, Homeless Shelters (ACTS, SERVE, Carpenter’s Shelter), Leukemia/Lymphoma Research, Juvenile Diabetes, and Education-based projects to support. Selections were made based on past and present relationships with many local organizations and causes.

I’m actually really glad I didn’t get into the race via the lottery. I probably  wouldn’t have had the opportunity to raise money for such a great cause! If you are interested, please consider a donation- no amount is too small. If I reach my goal of $300, I will be able to run with my friend Meg, who will be running her first 26.2!

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Running Weekend

I figured I’d pop in here for a minute to update you all on my running! This weekend was a good one for that.

Saturday morning was the Robert Parker School 5K trail race. A new-to-me place to run trails, I had to sign up to prepare for my upcoming trail half marathon. Thankfully, the trails were in much better condition than last week at the Pine Bush. Even though they were muddy, they were definitely runnable.

Chris’ friends were in town, so he managed to convince them to come run the race with me! It was a blast.

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I managed to finish the 5K (two loops on the trails) in 37:50. Although I don’t have any pictures from the course, I did take this one of the shirt!

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The design was awesome, but the shirt itself is huge on me! Usually I get a women’s large and run the risk of it being tight, but this one was really big! At least it’s not too tight! ;-)

Sunday morning was also the Delmar Dash, another popular local race. Last year I volunteered as a course marshall and this year I wanted to help at the water stop.

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It was fun cheering on the runners and handing out the water. The winner won the race running under a 5 minute mile…so incredible.

Anyway, after the race, I stuck around Delmar to do my long run for the weekend. I ran up and down Delaware Ave and then ventured to the Albany County Rail Trail, a fairly new running path in Delmar.

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I had been wondering about it for a while now, and finally took the opportunity to check it out since I was already in Delmar. It was pretty sweet actually. There was no mud, and it was just packed dirt and a little bit a gravel. A perfect running surface! The trail runs near the main streets, but keeps you off the road, through the woods and next to nature, I loved it!

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I ran 8 miles total at ~10:00/mile pace, making that about 11 for the weekend.

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My next race is the Dodge the Deer trail 5K, and then my next half marathon is three weeks away in New Jersey! A week later is my trail half marathon in the Catskills. I’m getting excited for nice weather and some awesome runs.

A Sad Trail Run

So, I have a trail half marathon in a little over a month in the Catskills.

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I’d really like to start training on the trails for this race. However, we have one little problem. The condition of our local trails are ice/snow/mud at the moment.

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Last night I went to the Pine Bush trail at Blueberry Hill to check the status and see if they were run-able. Well, some of them were. I managed to slowly jog the snowy/ice portions. Some Yaxtrax would have been nice, but I don’t own any, so I had to make do with my trail runners. At least the weather was nice!

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2.3 miles at a slow 13:30 pace. I still have a month to get some trail runs in, so I’m hoping it clears up (I can handle mud), in the next few weeks.  I’m so done with this crappy weather. I want spring!